It's a clear August afternoon on the Kerch Strait as Vladimir Putin trudges slowly out of the crystal blue ocean, wearing nothing but a skintight black wetsuit, a cracked jug in each hand. "They're Grecian," he says impassively. "From the sixth century B.C." Clamoring for even a glance from their magnificent leader, the reporters ask, "But where, Prime Minister, where did you find these priceless artifacts?" Putin simply shrugs, gestures to the clear water, and says, "The boys and I found them."
If that sounds like fiction, it's because it was. Unsurprisingly, a Russian spokesman admitted that the Putin's "jugs of antiquity" were a hoax. Well… they were real, but they had been planted on the scene. So, a really elaborate hoax. But nobody's apologizing. Actually, from the way Putin's aid phrased it, they never meant to deceive anybody:
"Of course, they were found in the course of an expedition several weeks or days earlier. Of course, they were left there or placed there. It's completely normal. There's no reason to float about this and everything else," he said.
I've got to say, nobody does political propaganda like Putin. His shirtless fishing and tranquilized-polar-bear hugging almost make me glad he'll be back in the Presidency, if only to see how he'll be forced to top himself next. Something skydiving-related, maybe?